Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Archive for January 2nd, 2012

Swordfish stew redux, with changes

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I liked this stew so much I made it again, but with some changes:

They had a very nice large leek, but also small bags of peeled shallots. Just because I like the Allium family, I decided to go with both, plus I had half a large sweet onion on hand, so included that, along with four large cloves of garlic.

Five red Fresno peppers this time, but still two jalapeños. I used an enormous orange bell pepper instead of an enormous yellow bell pepper. Two large handfuls chopped celery, one diced zucchini, two diced Meyer lemons, one large bunch Italian parsley chopped, six large domestic mushrooms cut into chunks, four large Roma tomatoes, a wad of slivered dried tomatoes, three-fourths cup converted rice, 1.2 lbs Pacific swordfish cut into chunks, 1.5 Tbsp homemade Worcestershire sauce, 2 Tbsp (true) extra-virgin olive oil, 2 Tbsp Penzeys Seafood Soup Base. And best of all, I augmented the greens: I spotted a bag of “angel-hair slaw”—green cabbage shredded extremely fine—and got it and added it to the stew. Lots of grindings of black pepper, 1 tsp salt. Makes 7 qts.

As you see, I applied my methods: a small measured amount of oil, a small serving of protein for a meal, less than a small serving of starch, and then load up on the vegetables, throwing in everything you can think of, going for bulk (and balance).

I came across this interesting article in the LA Times:

Anita Mills was 382 pounds when a family doctor gave her four simple rules to lose weight:

1. Eat 8 ounces of food every three hours.

2. No sugary drinks.

3. Do not skip meals.

4. Do not tell anyone what you’re doing.

Now 242 pounds lighter, Mills credits that last tip for helping her through the most difficult months of her weight-loss journey. Not having someone questioning every bite or trying to persuade her to relax on weekends helped her focus on the goal.

“It’s so much better to walk into a room and have someone say, ‘Hey, did you do something different?’ than to announce, ‘I’m on a diet,’ and have people pointing fingers at you,” she said. . .

Continue reading. Later in the article it noted that people in general do not like change, and if you announce your intention to change, those closest to you will work (unconsciously, usually) to prevent (and if necessary, reverse) the change. As the article states:

. . . Mills’ doctor, Jon Walz, gives all of his weight-loss patients the same rules. He blames the need for secrecy on the culture of obesity. Since childhood, he says, we’ve searched out people who look and act like us, and obese people are no exception.

As human beings we have a difficult time with change, Walz said. So when someone we love alters his or her lifestyle, we have a problem dealing with it — even if that transformation is positive. “(They) will try to change them back to what the culture tolerates,” he said.

There are other reasons to keep your weight-loss plans to yourself.

Dr. Peter Gollwitzer, a professor of psychology at New York University, studies how goals and plans affect cognition and behavior. In his research paper, “When Intentions Go Public,” Gollwitzer describes how spilling the beans — and the resulting response — can change someone’s actions. . .

Written by LeisureGuy

2 January 2012 at 2:34 pm

A view for the new year

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Thanks to Constant Reader for sending this link. Watch full-screen:

Written by LeisureGuy

2 January 2012 at 12:17 pm

Posted in Daily life, Video

A few minutes with Johnny Hodges

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Johnny Hodges: a paragon among jazz musicians.

Written by LeisureGuy

2 January 2012 at 10:27 am

Posted in Jazz, Video

Krugman explains national debt (vs. personal debt) once more

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Some seem to have great difficult grasping the ideas, but I think Krugman is quite clear in today’s NY Times column:

In 2011, as in 2010, America was in a technical recovery but continued to suffer from disastrously high unemployment. And through most of 2011, as in 2010, almost all the conversation in Washington was about something else: the allegedly urgent issue of reducing the budget deficit.

This misplaced focus said a lot about our political culture, in particular about how disconnected Congress is from the suffering of ordinary Americans. But it also revealed something else: when people in D.C. talk about deficits and debt, by and large they have no idea what they’re talking about — and the people who talk the most understand the least.

Perhaps most obviously, the economic “experts” on whom much of Congress relies have been repeatedly, utterly wrong about the short-run effects of budget deficits. People who get their economic analysis from the likes of the Heritage Foundation have been waiting ever since President Obama took office for budget deficits to send interest rates soaring. Any day now!

And while they’ve been waiting, those rates have dropped to historical lows. You might think that this would make politicians question their choice of experts — that is, you might think that if you didn’t know anything about our postmodern, fact-free politics.

But Washington isn’t just confused about the short run; it’s also confused about the long run. For while debt can be a problem, the way our politicians and pundits think about debt is all wrong, and exaggerates the problem’s size.

Deficit-worriers portray a future in which we’re impoverished by the need to pay back money we’ve been borrowing. They see America as being like a family that took out too large a mortgage, and will have a hard time making the monthly payments.

This is, however, a really bad analogy in at least two ways.

First, families have to pay back their debt. Governments don’t — all they need to do is ensure that debt grows more slowly than their tax base. The debt from World War II was never repaid; it just became increasingly irrelevant as the U.S. economy grew, and with it the income subject to taxation.

Second — and this is the point almost nobody seems to get — an over-borrowed family . . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

2 January 2012 at 10:24 am

Create seating charts quickly and easily

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I don’t do much event planning nowadays, and my seating chart needs are filled by my simply pointing to the other place to sit in my living room, but those who are more active socially or whose work involves planning various kinds of events might find SimpleSeating.com useful. It’s free for events up to 50 persons, and you can pay $15/event for events up to 500 persons (and that fee lets you import and export data files).

Written by LeisureGuy

2 January 2012 at 7:52 am

Posted in Daily life, Software

DIY planning tools

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As you can tell, the beginning of a new year gets me looking around at planning tools. Take a look at D*I*Y Planner, a site devoted to rolling your own planning tools. Clearly, creating your own planner requires more thought and work than buying a ready-made, but you’re also likely to get a better fit for your own life situation, interests, and goals. The site includes quite a few downloadable PDF templates to eimplify forms development.

Written by LeisureGuy

2 January 2012 at 7:32 am

Another organizational tool: MyLifeOrganized

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The danger is in skipping from one organizational tool to another, without ever settling long enough to learn the organizer so that your unconscious understands it and you start to see your tasks in terms of the organizer’s entries and categories. You productivity never gets a chance to climb. Still: it’s important to find one with which you feel comfortable. Right now I’m using weekplan.net and vitalist.com, and I’ll continue with those until one wins out.

So you my want to take a look at MyLifeOrganized. It works on Windows and various mobile devices (iPhone, Android, Blackberry). Not a Mac product.

I see one advantage of vitalist.com and weekplan.net is that, being Web-based, they are totally platform-independent.

Written by LeisureGuy

2 January 2012 at 7:25 am

Posted in Daily life, Software

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